Const. Jason Tress

Const. Jason Tress

Mountie testifies another RCMP officer sexually assaulted her at 2012 party

Former Mountie on trial for sexual assault in connection with incident in northwestern Alberta

Warning: The following story contains graphic details

An RCMP officer testified in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday that a fellow officer sexually assaulted her at a party in northwest Alberta in 2012.

The officer, who can’t be identified due to a publication ban, said the assault happened during a March 1, 2012 party for an officer being transferred out of the small community detachment.

She testified from Quebec through a video link with the courtroom.

The woman said she had been drinking heavily at the party at her duplex when a female officer and then-Const. Jason Andrew Tress helped her to her room. The female officer went to get some Advil and left her alone with Tress.

The woman said she laid down on the bed and closed her eyes. When she reopened them, Tress had pulled down her top and was kissing or licking one of her breasts, she testified before Justice Nathan Whitling.

While she did not remember what she said to Tress, “I remember putting a stop to it,” she testified.

Crown prosecutor Photini Papadatou asked her if the contact was consensual.

“Absolutely not,” said the woman, who had been an officer for about a year at the time.

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While she did not remember exactly what she said to Tress, she was sure about the assault. “I do recall that part of the night because it shocked me.”

A short time after the incident, she and Tress talked or texted — she could not recall which — about what happened.

“I know we addressed it and he was remorseful …”

Tress transferred out of the detachment to Red Deer sometime within the next year. Tress is no longer an RCMP officer.

Later, she told a superior officer about the incident but did not intend for him to report it. When an officer from Grande Prairie arrived to look into the matter, she declined to provide a statement.

In 2016, she was contacted by officers with Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), who were investigating Tress.

Under cross-examination from defence lawyer Maurice Collard, the woman agreed she was “very or highly impaired” the night of the alleged assault.

Collard asked if she went to bed because she was too drunk to continue partying.

“Yes, if you want to phrase it that way,” she testified.

Collard closely questioned the woman about the version of events she gave the Grande Prairie investigator. She told the investigator that Tress reached down her blouse and did not mention that he kissed or licked her breast.

She lied to the investigator, Collard put to her.

The woman replied that she lied because she wanted to “minimize” the incident that she did not want to see go any further.

“I omitted some facts and I lied because I didn’t want this to become a big thing.”

When the ASIRT investigator reached her, she agreed to provide a statement because she felt guilty about not saying something earlier, she testified.

The trial resumes on Wednesday.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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